Renaissance Spolia and Renaissance Antiquity (One Neighborhood, Three Cases)1

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


A magnificent building, the Palazzo Mattei’s noble form epitomized the established, indeed conservative, character of late Renaissance classicism in Rome. The taste for antiquities declared by Asdrubale’s inscription demands both explanation and contextualization. The taste for antiquities and for classical remains in general, had changed during the course of the sixteenth century. The celebration of the past’s fragmentary spoils, epitomized, by the colossal heads and hands of Constantine that were enshrined on the Capitol since the late fifteenth century. Asdrubale’s aesthetic tastes were broad: together with his brother Ciriaco, he was an equally passionate collector of contemporary works of art: both brothers were patrons of Caravaggio, and Asdrubale’s palazzo featured frescos by Albani, Lanfranco, and Pietro da Cortona. The sense of a private retreat, in a garden setting surrounded by works of ancient art, was echoed in many other Roman aristocratic abodes of the Renaissance era, and Ciriaco Mattei’s recollection finds an analogue in his brother’s more urban residence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationReuse Value
Subtitle of host publicationSpolia and Appropriation in Art and Architecture from Constantine to Sherrie Levine
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781317063797
ISBN (Print)9781409424222
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Arts and Humanities


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